Laura Benanti, Norm Lewis, Carson Elrod, Jeff Hiller, Jacob Ming-Trent and Todd Almond have joined the cast of the Public Theater’s community-based musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The Broadway alums join more than 200 New Yorkers from all five boroughs in the new initiative, which will kick off with director Lear deBessonet’s production from September 6 through 8 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
The Tempest features music, lyrics and book by Almond and choreography by Chase Brock. Conceived and directed by deBessonet, the show will feature a cast of actors from five community groups: Children’s Aid Society (Manhattan), DreamYard (Bronx), Fortune Society (Queens), Brownsville Recreation Center (Brooklyn) and Domestic Workers United (all boroughs, including Staten Island). Participants from the groups will perform in the ensemble as well as a number of featured roles.
Seven cameo groups will also appear, including Stephen Duncan, Raya Brass Band, Ballet Tech, the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Ensemble, the Middle Church Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir and the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance.
The Tempest will boast scenic design by Matt Saunders, costume design by Paul Carey, lighting design by Tyler Micoleau and sound design by Acme Sound Partners. The show is a Public Works production, an exciting new initiative at the Public Theater, not to be confused with the company's acclaimed Shakespeare in the Park productions (which this year included Love's Labour's Lost and The Comedy of Errors).